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The Brothers Grimm (DVD)

Starring: Matt Damon, Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain), Lena Headey

Rated: 12

Story: The Brothers Grimm travel 18th Century French-occupied Germany hiring themselves out as freelance witch-hunters. A French general enlists their help in quelling trouble in the small village of Marbaden where girls are disappearing in mysterious circumstances involving wolves, witches, red riding outfits and gingerbread.

Comments: This is probably the film I was anticipating Pan's Labyrinth to be. It's a fantastical tale which throws a stack of folk stories into a pot, adds a touch of alternative history and gives everything a good stir. In reality, the Brothers Grimm were college professors. Here, they are shady adventurers in a fairy tale about fairy tales.

As you'd expect with Terry Gilliam directing, the visual style and attention to detail are arresting. Some of the characters are a little silly and some of the accents are a little improbable but that's OK - fairy tales are supposed to be outlandish, concealing nuggets of truth within a preposterous but mesmerising story. Gilliam does an excellent job of capturing this essence, creating an entertaining movie which is mainstream but also a little bit unusual.

Matt Damon isn't even annoying. Bonus.

Conclusion: Clever, funny, creepy, beautiful and surprising. Unmissable.

Explosions: Not many.
Fantastic sets: Lots.
Dodgy accents: Some.
Moving trees: A forest.
Memorable moments: A multitude.
Unexpected uses of snails: One.

Rating: 5/5.

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